Invite a friend
For a spectacular July 4th celebration, visit Long Branch’s 22nd annual Oceanfest Independence Day celebration on Wednesday, July 4th. The free, family-friendly festival runs from 10 am to 10 pm, rain or shine, along the half-mile stretch of oceanfront Promenade between Seven Presidents Park and the Ocean Place Resort & Spa. Oceanfest ends the evening with a spectacular fireworks display over the ocean at 9:00 pm. The event is co-hosted by the City of Long Branch and the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce.
Oceanfest offers a full day of fun and entertainment. Strolling entertainers – clowns, stilt walkers and costumed characters, will amuse children of all ages. Live musical entertainment runs throughout the day at the Stage on the Great Lawn (just south of Rooney’s Oceanfront restaurant). And on the beach in the same area as the stage there will be three master sand sculptors at work on one-of-a-kind temporary masterpieces (and one of them was the winner on the Travel Channel’s Sand Wars!)
The sand sculptors will be hard at work on the beach near the Great Lawn. Amazing to watch as a pile of sand turns into an intricate original sculpture, each will be working on a different piece for sponsors. Travel Channel’s Sand Wars winner Matt Deibert will be sculpting for Monmouth University. Multi-talented painter/sculptor John Gowdy will be creating a multi-faceted sculpture being shared between Monmouth Park Racetrack, JCP&L and Chevy. Monmouth Medical Center will have a sandy work of art sculpted by master sculptor Matt Long, who is excited to be working on his second season of the Travel Channel’s Sand Masters show. Finally, master sculptor Jim Richardson will be crafting a temporary work of art for Comcast Xfinity. The sculptors will be working all day; their sculptures will be completed in the late afternoon.
Entertainment on the Main Stage kicks off at 11:00 am with The Royal Line Puppeteers. Music follows at 1:00 pm with The Rock N Roll Chorus, an amazing group of extremely talented high school students from Monmouth County and beyond. The group performs current musical favorites acapella - the “instruments” you think you hear are actually vocalizations by performers.
At 2:00 pm, the stage will fill with the Latin beats of Ray Rodriguez y Swing Sabroso. Rodriguez and his band are long time favorites at Oceanfest. The group’s distinctive style is called Salsa Dura, the result of individual members’ unique and extensive musical backgrounds, having performed and recorded with some of the most recognizable names in Latin music before joining together to found Swing Sabroso in 2001. In addition to the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival, the band has performed to great reviews at such venues as Lincoln Center, S.O.B.s, LQ's Philadelphia Salsa Congress, NYC Salsa Congress and more.
New to Oceanfest this year is the band Rave On!, sure to delight the young and the young at heart. Rave On! performs the music of the legendary Buddy Holly, along with other classic early rock ‘n roll songs. They will entertain on the Main Stage from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The group performs regularly throughout the tri-state area at theaters, dinner shows, township festival, and clubs.
At 7:00 pm, The Bob Burger Band returns to Oceanfest’s Main Stage. Bob is a singer/songwriter renowned for his composing skill, as well as for the energy and emotion of his live performances. He has written songs for recording artists Donnie Iris, Bobby Bandiera and many others, as well as for companies such as HBO Pictures. Bob has also been a long time songwriting collaborator with Glen Burtnik. This will be The Bob Burger Band’s third appearance at Oceanfest.
In addition to the musical entertainment, magicians The Amazing Arni & Ingrid will be performing at the Garfield Statue from 11 to 11:45, followed by the 2nd Baptist Youth Ministries dance group from 12:00 – 1:00. There will also be a clown balloon artist at the Gazebo from 11:30 – 3:30; roaming the boardwalk will be costumed characters from 11:00 – 12:00, a stilt walker from 11:30 – 12:30, and a juggling unicyclist from 2:30 – 3:30. At 3:00 at the Garfield Statue visitors can see an amazing demonstration of martial arts acrobatics and agility by Afro Brazilian Martial Arts.
The Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce raises all the funds for Oceanfest and the fireworks display. Oceanfest organizers are collecting donations from the public to help offset these costs. According to Nancy Kleiberg, Executive Director of the Chamber, “we are very fortunate that our main sponsors have continued to support this wonderful event, but every year costs increase and every contribution helps.” Donations can also be sent to the Chamber office at 228 Broadway (PO Box 628), Long Branch, NJ 07740.
Oceanfest sponsored in part by the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce and the City of Long Branch, and the continuous support of the following sponsors: Monmouth Medical Center, Monmouth University, Ocean Place Resort & Spa, TD Bank, Pier Village, AJD Construction, Monmouth Park Racetrack, Comcast, New Jersey Monthly magazine, Monmouth Health & Life magazine, the Asbury Park Press, Atlanticville, Allen Consulting, Inc., and radio stations 95.9 The WRAT and 92.3 NOW.
For more information on Oceanfest and available sponsorship opportunities, contact the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce at 732-222-0400 or Allen Consulting at 732-946-2711.